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Man who called train passenger “terrorist” and “bomber” handed suspended sentence

Man who called train passenger “terrorist” and “bomber” handed suspended sentence

Categories: Latest News

Friday October 28 2016

ITV News and The Chronicle report on the suspended sentence handed to a man who racially abused a Sudanese asylum seeker accusing him of being a “terrorist”, a “bomber”, a “member of ISIS” and of carrying a knife on a metro train.

Tony Browning, 33, pulled the emergency brake on a moving train in Newcastle after launching the rant against the Sudanese passenger and threatening to hit him.

Browning told the 25 year old victim to “get off the train” insisting he was carrying a “needle or a knife,” suggesting he posed a threat to public safety.

The unfounded accusations led to police being called and questioning the victim.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told Newcastle Crown Court the victim spoke very little English and answered “yes” to every question asked by the officers.

“Having said yes, police handcuffed him and searched him. No knife was found.

“The carriage was searched and no knife was found. Clearly, he did not have any sort of weapon,” Pallister said.

The court heard from one witness who said Browning also shouted abuse at black passengers before he pressed the emergency brake

The incident has left the victim frightened of travelling by public transport and he now worries about a similar situation happening again.

Browning admitted causing racially aggravated harassment.

Judge Amanda Rippon told Browning: “You abused a young man on a Metro train in this city, who was doing no more than minding his own business, travelling as he was entitled to.

“You abused him not just generally, but racially, making reference to the colour of his skin, calling him a terrorist, accusing him of having a weapon and frightening him.

“The poor complainant ended up being handcuffed for a short time while police searched for a weapon you said he had, which he never did.”

The court heard Browning had 113 previous convictions. In mitigation, Vic Laffey said his client had “never acted in a racist way in the past” despite the long record of offences. Laffey said: “He is at a loss to explain why he acted in such a reckless way on this particular day.”

Browning was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and programme requirements. He was also fined £25 for breach of a previous suspended sentence.

Superintendent Sarah Pitt, speaking after the trial, said: “We take reports of hate crime incredibly seriously and won’t tolerate it happening in our communities.”


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